Saturday, 22 November 2014

Let's Be Cops (2014)

Let's Be Cops poster.jpg
21 Dump Street

Director: Luke Greenfield
Running Time: 104 Minutes
Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr, James D'Arcy, Nina Dobrev, Keegan-Michael Key

Best friends Ryan (Johnson) and Justin (Wayans Jr) are unsatisfied with the where they've ended up in life. One night when they dress up as police officers, they discover the power that that comes with their roles, along with the authority and respect they've always wanted. They continue on the roles, but get tangled up in a conspiracy involving real mobsters and dirty detectives.

From the plot alone, it's clear how familiar things are going to seem, considering how many other films share the same basic plot outline. Director Luke Greenfield should have been worried, considering how the many clich├ęs and predictable moments bring to mind similar moments done to a better effect. It's a clear and evident problem, and the entertaining chemistry of Jake Johnson & Damon Wayans Jr cannot compensate for it.

The Boys in Blue at work

It's not like the comedy does a better job either, with many of the attempts feeling lazy, especially the inclusion of a kid that swears. The side characters serve little purpose other than to deliver drawn-out attempts at jokes. Only Keegan-Michael Key manages to succeed, thanks to a spirited performance that results in scenes that are, for the most part, actually humorous.

James D'Arcy brings to mind many adjectives through his villainous role, but the ones which stick out the most include 'bland', 'unmemorable' and 'wooden'. Nina Dobrev doesn't fare much better, portraying a plot device whose unique hobby eventually comes in handy, as opposed to an actual character.

It's unclear what's the bigger problem about Let's Be Cops, that it isn't funny or that its scenes are poor replications from better cop-comedies. Either way, the entertaining moments between the two leads can only go so far, and you'd be better off picking up either 21 or 22 Jump Street instead.


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